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Four Ways I Save On Groceries

Posted by on January 8, 2016

Besides the usual ways of saving money when buying groceries like finding good coupons (rare for me), shopping sales, and buying in bulk; there are a few other ways I have found to significantly cut our grocery bill.
1 – Toilet Paper
I never really gave much thought to the cost of this essential item until I was potty training child number five and started noticing just how much toilet paper we were going through each month. No matter how conservative we tried to be in our TP usage 7 people (soon to be 8 when I potty train Gabe) using the toilet still means a lot of TP. We tried to buy in bulk from Sam’s or Costco when we could (3 hour drive) but the cost of gas was outweighing any savings. Then a year ago I made a discovery – I can buy toilet paper online with free shipping from Sam’s Club for less than half the cost of buying locally from Walmart and even a significant savings over buying in-store from Sam’s or Costco.
2 – Safeway Just for U Savings
This is an extra savings beyond the regular club card savings. Unlike coupons that are usually for premade/packaged foods which I don’t use, Just for U gives me special deals on fruits, veggies, dairy products, and a few other things. The added bonus of getting gas rewards for shopping there is a big incentive.
3 – Bread
For those who don’t normally do so, making your own bread can seem daunting. However the cost savings (not to mention the health benefits) are so significant that it is well worth the effort. When I priced out the ingredients a few years ago the Honey Oatmeal Bread I was making cost just under $1 a loaf. Despite cost increases I expect the simple Sourdough Bread I usually make now (which doesn’t use honey, oatmeal, eggs or butter) to cost even less.
4 – Garden
I don’t think anyone can argue with the cost savings of growing your own food vs. buying it. My garden isn’t very big, but it’s amazing how much you can grow in a small space (I do square foot gardening). A couple dollars worth of seeds can yield a lot of food. It’s even cheaper when you start saving your own seeds; which isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Scott got me a pressure canner a few years ago and I love being able to fill the pantry with cheap healthy food.
Bonus: Canning can be a big time-saver for meal prep. I noticed a couple years ago how many recipes call for chopped carrots, celery, and onion. But with a growing family, I was struggling with the time it took to chop those each night. I figured out that canning a cup of each together is just right for a quart jar and is roughly the right amount for most recipes. A busy few days in the fall when I harvest the garden, but then the rest of the year all I need to do is open a jar.

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